Excessive oyster harvesting in Pabna jeopardises bio-diversity

Published : 26 Dec 2022 08:04 PM

In addition to lime production, the demand for oyster powder has increased in the poultry and fish industries. As a result, the unaware needy people are constantly collecting two-shelled aquatic oysters from the rivers, canals, bill ponds and other water bodies of the Challan Beel-dominated Upazilas of Pabna, Natore and Sirjganj. They collect fresh oysters and sell them to wholesalers. The wholesalers are bringing these oysters to Haripur area of Chatmohar in Van, Lasimon, Karimon cars from the village areas adjacent to the river and bill. Oyster traders are indiscriminately boiling the oysters in the heat of the fire and separating the fleshy soft parts and selling them to the fish farmers. Oyster shells are separated and sent by truck to Khulna area. A mill for crushing oyster shells has also been developed in this area. Everything is happening publickly. Yet there is no remedy, no action.

Research has revealed that most snails and oysters are collected from the reservoir during the monsoon season. But more or less oyster harvesting is done almost all year round. Chatmohar, Bhangura, Faridpur, Baraigram, Gurdaspur, Tarash, Singhra and other upazilas of Chalanbil area and hundreds of poor people on the banks of the river work to collect oysters. They sell oysters at Tk 5 per kg and snails at Tk 7 per kg to wholesalers. The wholesalers collect oysters through agents and bring them to Haripur in Chatmohar. About twenty businessmen of Haripur area control oyster business. Their will and unwillingness to raise and lower the price of snails and oysters.

Nikhil Churnkar, the owner of an oyster crushing mill established in Haripur, said that we collect raw oysters from various villages of Pabna, Natore, Bogra and Sirajganj districts at a price of Tk 200 per person. After boiling, we sell the fleshy part to pangus fish farmers at a reasonable price of four hundred taka. We send the shells to Khulna area. We sell crushed oyster powder at a price of four hundred taka to Chatmohar and other local poultry feed mills and shops. He also said that no one has ever stopped them in this regard.

Jannatul Ambia, Head of Department of Zoology, Chatmohar Government College, said that there is life in oysters. This animal survives by eating small aquatic plants. Pearls are obtained from oysters, lime is made. It is a resource. Over-harvesting of oysters can have adverse effects on biodiversity.

Pradeep Das, assistant professor of geography and ecology at Mirzapur Degree College, said that the soft eggs of snails are the favorite food of some species of fish. Killing the snails will disrupt the food chain. There is a risk that the balance of the environment will be disturbed. To protect nature, environment, agriculture and fisheries resources, action is needed to prevent snail and oyster killing.

In this regard, Chatmohar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mumtaz Mahal said that excessive oyster killing will have an adverse effect on the environment. I did not know about this. I will investigate this matter and take necessary legal action.